Thursday, June 25, 2009
It really is true that home buying is one of the hardest and most stressful things you will go through. As a single parent, it felt even more difficult. From barely a soul around to help pack, to hardly a shoulder to lean on when the bank got rough...
IT SUCKED. But I persevered and followed through. Meanwhile and unfortunately I abandoned you guys, AGAIN. In fact, in September of last year is when I became consumed with the online house hunting process. (hey, if you need any advice, I consider myself a pro now!)
But paybacks for disapearing again are rough and I gained a whopping 12 pounds throughout the process. I lost my way through the wayward road of STRESS- and while I may have been eating clean or not, my portions were off the charts, and .... my health took a serious backseat to the entire homebuying process. Yep, it was that bad.
Now I'm back and ready to help, grow and reset myself and hopefully gain your friendships back.
I so appreciate all the hard work and efforts you all put into the Clean Eating and Hey Beautiful team. I'm terribly impressed and happy that it shows you really can do it on your own! :)
Clearly, new leaders shall step in to join our growing circles. It's just the right thing to do. Be ready and do email me if you think you want to join the leadership circle.
Thanks again. It's good to be home to spark and to finally acheive that American dream. Best of all, thank goodness it's over and I can move on!
Here's a snap of our little beach house's back yard. (yay)
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Another great article from spark worthy of posting in a blog. But first, my own comments on weight and the scale.
I admit I peek now and again (when I'm at a store that has scales) but that behavior is really juxtoposed as to how I feel about my body these days, which is pretty great. I think I'm just curious more than anything, and I giggle about it now because it always surprises me. This is quite the opposite of how I used to feel about it or myself.
Why? Because I Feel good. I hold less water, thanks to eating clean. I don't really diet anymore. I just eat better food and less processed and more proteins, and veggies. That sort of thing.
I'm a steady size 8 and still focusing on eliminating extra fat from my body. I have anough fat around my arms and stomach that I could turn into muscle and stay an 8, or shake off and trim to a lean size six. This I know but I'm undecided about it and don't care. What I care about is being tone, so should a few more pounds come off, then that's a requirement. The key for me, is to work out a little more. The key for me includes appreciating the long term payoff from eating clean and not obsessing over the scale or body fluctuations. All those things have empowered me.
I'm certain I'm still in the 150's but I'm also certain that my long term goal is to hold steadfast to the belief in eliminating the scale as the dictator in my relationship with my body. This is a mindset I am working on. And the result will be a range I am comfy with and I'll know what range is right for me by the way things fit and how I look in the mirror. Should I weight here and again, that number will just be a 'by the way' after thought.. and I won't care.
You see, when I look in the mirror I see curves not flaws. I see progress. I see a whole woman who has come a long way. And that my friends, is a good thing.
Now help me start that revolution: A revolution to LOVE YOUR BODY!
Oh, and lastly, remember, repetition is always key to long term success in any of your goals! That includes the way your mind works and thinks. REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT!
Without further adieu, here's the spark article:
Measure Progress Without the Scale
An Arsenal of Tools for Your Motivation
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
Frustrated. Disappointed. Hopeless. Skeptical.
Whichever you choose, these emotions are enemies of people trying to lose weight—especially when you feel like you have done everything right. For many trying to shed pounds, the elation from that initial weight loss is brought to a screeching halt when the scale stops moving. But, instead of viewing this as a setback, look for other ways to measure your progress besides the scale. After all, good health isn’t always measured in pounds.
Losing weight usually involves a relatively simple calorie equation: burn off more calories with daily activity than you consume through food. So what happens when these numbers indicate progress, but the scale doesn’t? Before the aggravation sets in, consider why this might be the case. If you’ve been hitting the gym on a regular basis, participating in both cardiovascular and strengthening exercises, then chances are good that you have shed some fat. But the scale might not indicate this because you have also been building lean muscle. Since muscle is dense (a small volume of muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat), the scale might not reflect your hard work.
Non-Scale Signs of Progress
See results by taking a trip to your very own closet. Take out a pair of pants that fit snugly before you began your new, healthy habits. Are you able to ease into them, when before you had to sit (or lie) down and yank them up your legs? This is a sure sign of progress toward a leaner you! What about an old shirt? Is it now a little loose around your waist or arms? Also look for improved muscle definition when you check out your body in the mirror. There are many everyday indicators that you are firming up your body, from how your clothes fit to sitting more comfortably in a booth or small chair.
Aside from weight, use other numerical signs of progress. When you first start your program, take measurements of your waist, arms, neck and hips. Even if you are not losing pounds, you very well may be losing inches all over your body as your figure slims down and tones up with muscles. Measuring your body is more reliable than the scale alone. Other numerical indicators include a reduction of blood pressure or cholesterol, heart rate, and body fat percentage.
Monitor how a healthy diet and regular exercise affects your energy levels. Not only will you be able to work out for longer intervals of time, but everyday chores will also become easier. Whether cutting the grass or simply walking up the stairs, these behaviors will come effortlessly. Think of all the daily activities you could use more energy for—grocery shopping, house cleaning, playing with your kids, and more. Pretty soon you’ll be training for your first 5K!
Lastly, be conscious of how you feel emotionally. You’ve been working hard to reach your goals. Hopefully, the hard work will come with a boost in self-esteem, confidence, and happiness. Are you beginning to feel more comfortable in your own body? Work to build a positive vocabulary to stay motivated.
Just because the scale has stopped moving doesn’t mean that you’ve hit a plateau in reaching your goals. Don’t give up out of frustration—all healthy behaviors are well worth the effort. Whether it’s better sleep at night or more energy throughout the day, start listening to the signs your body gives you that all of your hard work is paying off!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Where are you at? Not just physically, but mentally, where are you?
I'm sure some of the old timers can say you've grown some. But for the newbies, here's some sage advice. And it doesn't hurt for me to periodically check myself. It does the opposite, in fact. It doesn't hurt at all. It feels right and peaceful to revisit old healthy threads, blogs, and inspiriing people on this site. It feels even better to reach out and inspire and help other people on the site who may otherwise feel crummy or insecure about where to go for help.
4 points for us to remember as we move out to finish quarter two of the year.
1. GRATITUDE. Do you appreciate what you have or are you focusing/ upset about something you don't have? So where's your heart at today? Let go of what pains you and move forward onto what really counts for today.
2. ITS A NEW DAY. Do you plan to make the most of today inyour efforts by realizing every day is an opportunity to re-set yourself, or inch your way to the finish line of any one of your goals.. It's called consistency, my friends. Long term efforts, even if it takes months or years, will pay off. Accept this and you have the right footing for major payout as well as gifts and blessing along the way.
3. FORGIVE YOURSELF. If you messed up in one area- how many hours or days are wasted in remaining stagnant? Don't lose hope or let minor depression escalate into some needless suffering. Life is a challenge. Accept it and the obstacles as part of your journey. Learn from your mistakes and use them as opportunities of growth. Try not to repeat often, but always always always FORGIVE YOURSELF. Regroup after a mistake. Then get up and go about your day. It's that simple. Really. Now go back and read no. two again. :)
4. HELP SOMEONE ELSE. I know how great it feels to help others. This is also beneficial when life gets you down. Put aside your problem and I promise that by assisting or attending to others this alone will help you revisit that old problem with a different mind set. It might help you solve your own. By serving others, you are essentially serving yourself. Reach out to your fellow team mates, or friends/people in the neighborhood who might need ya, and this alone will lift you up and help you stay the right course. You might feel great!
I'll get off my high horse and let you read what wellness means. This is a repost.
Love you all. Make the best of your weekend with friends and family.
Yah. Now read what wellness means!
What is Wellness?
Wellness is the state of optimal well-being, not simply the absence of illness, but an improved quality of life resulting from enhanced physical, mental, and spiritual health.
SIX FUNDAMENTAL S OF WELLNESS:
There are some key elements that encompasses the focus of wellness. The following provides a description of these fundamental elements.
Self-responsibility - it is up to you to take care of your wellness.
Holistic - based on the integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Journey - there is no absolute level of wellness, it is a continuing journey.
Balance - you need to attend to all areas of your wellness to create a balance.
Uniqueness - there are as many different roads to wellness, as there are people.
Time - do not wait for a better day, make today a better day.
DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS:
Wellness incorporates a variety of issues. To better understand these issues, they have been broken down to represent the dimensions of wellness.
Physical Wellness: involves taking care of our bodies - eating right, exercising, routine medical exams. It also discourages against the use of tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Social Wellness: addresses interpersonal relationships and helps us enter into successful and fulfilling relationships with our family, friends, significant others, pets and others.
Spiritual Wellness: involves finding meaning and purpose in life. This can give us strength to cope with despair and help us feel good about being alive. Spiritual wellness may or may not include religion.
Emotional Wellness: addresses intrapersonal relationships. It involves a better understanding of our feelings and emotions.
Intellectual Wellness: involves maintaining cognitive stimulation to prevent mental stagnation. It is a lifelong process of mental challenges and creativity.
Vocational Wellness: addresses career goals and paths and finding a balance between life at home and life at work.
Global Wellness: includes the connection between personal wellness and the broader world in which we live. It addresses intercultural awareness, environmental issues, diversity, and global unity.
Another useful read for great Wellness info is:
Now go out and have a dymonite week-end~
Monday, February 25, 2008
Island Girl is back; with some sage advice.....If you haven't read Coach Dean's article on Weighing in, I urge you to do so. It's at the end of this blog.
Since ditching the scale just a short while back, December I think, I admit to having the expected detox effects for a while. I weighed a few times, felt bad about myself, ditched the scale and repeated the cycleuntil I finally gave up that nasty habit.
What changed me recently was that I started to appreciate my body like never before. Seriously, like NEVER before. With the release of the scale, my attitude began to change about my body. Just like any other good habit, the more I worked on it, the more I began to choose other things to "see" instead of so called bad things....
I mean, think about addiction. You replace one habit with another good habit, right? Now, I appreciate the changes I see in my thighs (definitiion), my tummy.... (flatter) my upper arms..(definition, finally!)
But, had I weighed myself on the island, I would have immediately hated myself again, DESPITE having previously seen good things! That scale would remind me that I wasn't working hard enough and it would create a negative downard spin on all my efforts and progress so far. Who needs that!?
Since ditching the scale, my attitude gives way (ONLY) to seeing positive. And that is pretty much it!
As you guys know, most of the changes we see come from diet. At least half if not more of what you see is from what you put into your mouth. We see it in body fat ratios, we see it in skin tone, eyes, sleep patterns..
If you aren't properly nourished , your body will tell you so and you will see it in the reflection of that mirror. Be careful!
As to vacation, even though I had a less control over some of our meals and times we ate etc, what I chose to focus on was the changes I had made. The transformation from this body to the last one is pretty nice. I found myself mesmerized (poolside, mind you) on the the whole shift of attitude I had regarding the scale. When you move away from the 'dream' of the scale or society...you move towards freedom and peace. And I truly felt beautiful.
So after some glutenous behavior while on vacation, (cheese crackers, wine...) I knew I had to pay for it. But instead of worry and doubt, and self loathing that the scale would have brought me, I jumped into the pool EACH day and spend at least 30 minutes treading water or swimming and MOVING....
And that action alone erased any potential loathing and stress caused by snacking on a few unclean foods. (Remember you can't eat clean all the time- people just aren't always on the same page. I was also a guest in someone elses home for the entire vacation. My diet wasn't totally screwed up, but it changed and I moved with it) The difference here is that my attitude did not shift. I remained focused and exercised more cautioun about choices while having fun too. I was more relaxed. The result? I felt fantastic.
(sidenote; I urge you all to take a tropical vacation for body and mind rest)
I've got to tell you, I do indeed wonder how much I weigh now, but I don't really care, you see? I suspect I'm way off goal, but my jeans tell me otherwise. They tell me I'm okay. Why? Because I'm finally accepting that it's okay that muscle weighs more than fat. I prefer that and the digits on the scale can't matter when you choose to prefer more muscle over fat... The digits on the scale have no place in that equation
I think that's our biggest obstacle. But once you accept that... you can live happy and free.
Honestly, when I wonder about what I weigh, It's a smitten and giggly kind of wonder... because things fit well...
-I'm leaner (despite not fanatically working out)
-I'm more focused on my goals which are no longer being dictacted by linear thinking. They are bigger picture goals or cyclicle and involve self love not loathing.
I can only wish and pray that our world will ultimately change and society will shift it's pressures from being rail thin to being a healthy weights...For the sake of our young peoples health...particularly girls, I urge you all to start a revolution in your hearts....."spark" the flame and start loving your body. :)
**PLEASE REVIEW ARTICLE BELOW****
Take the Stress Out of Weighing In
Mind Over Body: A Healthy Lifestyle Plan for Success
-- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert
Does seeing the wrong number on the scale make you crazy? Many people find that a badweigh-in ruins their mood and saps their motivation, making it difficult to keep doing what they know they need to do.
Things donâ€™t need to be this way. You can learn to use the scale as a helpful tool, instead of giving it the power to dictate your feelings and your actions.
Many experts and experienced dieters will tell you that the only realistic way to take the stress out of your weigh-ins is to skip them altogetherâ€”or at least keep them to a bare minimum. After all, there are many other ways to measure your progress towards your health and fitness goals, especially since weight loss is rarely predictable or orderly.
Although we talk about weight loss in terms of numbersâ€”calories in versus calories outâ€”your body is not a calculator and it doesn't operate like a checking account. A number of things (like fluctuations in water weight, increased muscle mass, and your bodyâ€™s anti-starvation mechanism) can and regularly do conspire to make the number on the scale the least reliable measure of weight loss success. And if youâ€™re the type of person who needs to see that number coming down on a regular basis in order to avoid frustration, despair and panic, frequent weigh-ins may be exactly what you shouldnâ€™t do.
But letâ€™s face it. Expecting yourself not to weigh-in frequently is like expecting yourself not to scratch when youâ€™ve got an itch. For many of us, itâ€™s just not in the cards. And besides, there are some good reasons to track your weight frequently. Since most of us donâ€™t exactly match the â€śaverageâ€ť person used in all the formulas for predicting energy expenditure, you may need a little experimentation to find the right combination of calories and exercise that will work for you. Watching the scale as you experiment can be an important part of that process.
So, maybe the real issue here is how you can have your cake and eat it, too. Here are three things you can do to make sure your love-hate relationship with the scale doesnâ€™t cross over the line and become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.
3 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Your Weigh-Ins
1. Be clear with yourself about what that number on the scale really means. That number on the scale only tells you how much you weigh at that moment. It tells you absolutely nothing about what kind of person you are; what life has in store for you; whether or not youâ€™ll ever look the way you want to look or feel the way you want to feel; or how other people see or think about you. If you experience thoughts or feelings like these just because you see an unwelcome number on the scale, then your expectations about what weight loss can do for you need a major overhaul. You may want to take the Is Weight Loss Stressing You Out? quiz to see if you need to do some work on that frontâ€”before you paint yourself into a corner you canâ€™t get out of.
2. Remind yourself that you are choosing to use the scale as a weight loss tool. It is NOT your judge, jury and executioner. Itâ€™s probably a good idea to post this reminder where you will see it each time you step on the scale. It can help to include a short list of the most important reasons why you are trying to lose weight in the first place, and some of the ways you can measure your progress towards those goals (besides the scale).
3. Use the number on the scale to actually help your program work for you. If youâ€™re going to use the scale as a tool, you might as well do it right. Try keeping a journal (or better yet a computer spreadsheet) where you track your weigh-ins (daily, weekly or monthly), your total calories eaten during that time period (from your Nutrition Tracker) and your calories burned through exercise (from your Exercise Tracker). Once a month, add the numbers up and see if things are going the way they â€śshouldâ€ť be. Figure out your total calorie deficit for the month, and see if your weight actually behaved according to the "3500-calorie deficit equals one pound lost" formula. If it didnâ€™t, then try to figure out why, using a method like this:
* First, go back to basics. About 90% of the â€śmysteriousâ€ť differences between what should happen and what does happen can be traced to underestimating calorie intake and/or overestimating calories burned. For the next few weeks, double check yourself on your calorie counting, portion estimating, etc., and make sure youâ€™re not leaving anything out of your nutrition tracking.
* If that doesnâ€™t solve the problem, figure that there may be something wrong with the estimates you are getting for your exercise calorie burning and/or your non-exercise calorie burning (your basal metabolic rateâ€”BMR). Consider investing a little money in a heart rate monitor with a calorie estimating feature to wear during exercise, and/or having your BMR tested at a local gym with a device called the BodyGem (costs about $50). Use this info to adjust your calorie intake and/or your exercise, and see how this new plan works for the next month.
* If all else fails, talk to a dietitian or your doctor to rule out any unusual metabolic problems, or medical issues. But again, 9 times out of 10, it's most likely a simple problem with getting the right numbers.
Above all, keep in mind that it is NOT a lower number on the scale that makes all the work you are putting into your weight loss efforts worthwhile. What makes it worthwhile is the increased happiness and other benefits that come with doing the best you can to eat a healthy diet, being as fit and active as you can, and doing all the other things that make you feel good about yourself. These benefits depend much more on your attitude and the quality of your efforts than on any number you see on a scale.
Shifting your focus from the scale to the quality and consequences of your own attitudes, perspectives, and efforts is the first step in moving from a â diet mentalityâ€ť (which doesnâ€™t work) to a â€ślifestyle changeâ€ť (which can get you where you want to go). You can read more about these issues in the following articles:
Stop Dieting and Start Living!
Dieting with a Positive Twist
6 Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid
Get An Email Alert Each Time SKINNYPUP Posts